My heart hurts today. It literally. Physically. Hurts. But before you call 911, let me explain…
God is good. That is a fact. He is. All the time. No matter what. But that doesn’t make this world and some of the things that happen in it good. He takes things that are meant for evil and makes them good. He promises not to put on us more than we can bear (with Him). You have to remember the (with Him) part or you will be messed up.
He worketh in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. He sees that huge puzzle, big picture perspective. We don’t.
We have a puzzle piece that we are given each day. Sometimes the day flows seamlessly and the puzzle piece fits into the big picture and we breathe a sigh and rest to wake up the next day for a new puzzle piece. That is a pretty good day.
Sometimes we wake up and we receive our puzzle piece and fit it in and we get an idea of a little tiny glimpse into how our future might look and we are able to fit several pieces together to create something. Perhaps it is: a relationship, or a new friend, a new home, new job, new mission, journey, project, etc… You get the idea. This is a day we believe we are making progress and understanding our life journey a little better. We begin to see a path laid out in front of us and imagine how we will proceed and dream about the possibilities. I would say this is an ideal day.
Then, there are those days where we are handed a piece of puzzle that seems a very odd shape. The colors, texture, design nothing seems to match what we already know of our existence. We withdraw from it. We try to give it back. We deny it. We grudgingly realize it is not going away, but we don’t want to face it. It doesn’t seem to make sense or fit anywhere. These pieces may take the form of: hurt, pain, rejection, sickness, death, loss, broken hearts, shattered dreams, despair, anxiety, fear, etc… You get the idea.
We shake our heads over these pieces. We don’t know why they were given to us. We don’t have answers. We may not even have a piece of the puzzle already framed out in our life that remotely matches the colors in that one piece. It fits nowhere near to anything we have already put together. It is a floating piece.
Today has been a day of floating pieces. I have cried over things I read about others who were handed a piece with cancer. A young talented mother using her last energy and pain free moments to record songs and stories for her daughter to listen to after she is gone. A grieving father thanking God for the pain free moments that allow her to do so, and saying this is the answer they were given even though it is not the one they wanted.
I have cried as I remember pain from years passed that rises up to hit me and those I love in the face as the anniversary of a tragedy presents itself. Questions are still unanswered. All that is left is to grieve and celebrate the life that was…and to trust.
Many things have caused my eyes to water today. Things past. Things present. Things I know will come. Sometimes I want to hurl the floating pieces back and ask “Why?!” but always there is a gentle reminder about that big picture.
As one who loves puzzles, I can appreciate the big picture. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated by the individual pieces. It just means that I understand it is a work in progress.
The good thing about boxed puzzles is you can see the picture before you begin the process. That is what sells these puzzles. It is the finished product. If we could only see the jumble of pieces I am sure our puzzle purchases would be minimal.
It is what the puzzle will become that attracts us and gives us the energy and strength to patiently work until the picture on the box matches what is inside the box. That is how life is, but it is just in reverse.
We already know about heaven. We know the end result, but we don’t have all the pieces to get us to the big picture. We are only given one piece at a time to fill in a small portion of the puzzle and as we experience life, we gain knowledge of the big picture. There is a lot of mystery and a lot of unanswered questions.
I don’t know why a mother was handed a floating piece that will take her from her baby girl. I don’t know why there are hungry people in this world when we have so much excess that could resolve the issue. I don’t know why we are left here with our hearts broken at the sudden loss of a loved one. I don’t know why some suffer physical illness and disability and live in continuous pain as part of every day of their lives.
I just know these floating pieces fit in somewhere. Somehow in the big picture of things, God uses them to create a beautiful masterpiece. I don’t have answers. I wish I did. I just know that a God who was willing to give His very life for mine, so that I could have the hope of a beautiful end result in the puzzle of my life has to know what He is doing.
Floating puzzle pieces make my heart hurt. They make me cry. I don’t understand…but I trust the one who carved the puzzle pieces and laid them out. I trust His hand. I trust His heart.
Today, there are big empty spaces around my floating pieces. Tomorrow may still be the same. Nine years from now, they may still be floating, but I know that someday I will understand and I will be able to see the entire masterpiece and I will say, “I realize you could not have created this without those pieces. I am glad I trusted You with my life and with those days when nothing made sense.”
Until next time,